Aug 16, 2008

Analysis: How much biodiesel will jatropha cultivation in UP produce?

UP (a large Indian state with the highest population) is planning to cultivate jatropha in 1.586 million hectares (3.91 million acres) of wasteland. Both the Business Standard and the GCC do not mention how much of India's current fuel/diesel demand can be met by this move. My back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that a significant portion (~23%) of India's diesel product imports can be displaced by cultivating jatropha in the 1.6 million ha.

From the Green Car Congress blog:
Indian State of Uttar Pradesh to Cultivate jatropha on 40% of Wasteland
16 August 2008
Business Standard. The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has set a target to bring at least 40% of its wasteland under jatropha cultivation for biodiesel feedstock within the coming five years.

  • The average yield of jatropha is ~1-5 tonnes/ha(from a somewhat dated Frost & Sullivan report on biodiesel). Assuming crude jatropha oil yield of ~2.5-3 tonnes/ha (see above report), UP would produce ~4 million tonnes of crude (jatropha) oil/ha for every crop of jatropha. According to an article in the MIT technology review, 1 hectare of jatropha produces ~1900 liters of "fuel". Therefore, 1.6 million ha. will produce 3040 million liters (800 million US gallons) of fuel for each crop of jatropha (The actual production per year will depend on the number of crops that can be cultivated per year).
  • In an other paper, Francis et al. assume a yield of ~580 l biodiesel/ha/year from jatropha cultivation in India. UP would therefore generate ~243 million US gallons of fuel/year (900 million liters of biodiesel/yr).
  • What does 240 million US gallons/yr of biodiesel mean ? On a mass basis, it is approximately 0.8 million tonnes of biodiesel/yr. Since the calorific value of petroleum diesel is ~15% higher than that of biodiesel, 0.8 million tonnes of biodiesel would be equivalent to 0.7 million T of petroleum diesel.
  • India's diesel "product" imports during 2007-08 were 2.93 million T. (This does not include diesel made from imported crude oil). Therefore, cultivating jatropha in 1.6 million ha. (approximately equivalent to the area of the state of Nagaland or eleven times the area of (the state of) Delhi) will potentially displace ~23% of Indian diesel product imports.
A report on jatropha cultivation in Cambodia, but also has India-specific data.


Iceknight/Spicetruck (Nari) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Iceknight/Spicetruck (Nari) said...

Hey here is a relevant link:

Article on Nature News Network

The Energy Webring